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November 23, 1970

Oncology as a Teaching Specialty

Author Affiliations

Irvine, Calif.

JAMA. 1970;214(8):1566. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180080146039

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To the Editor.—  I read the editorial by Drs. Kennedy and Theologides (213:1675, 1970) entitled "Oncology as a Teaching Specialty." I thought it right to indicate that I feel such a teaching entity is quite a step back and highly impractical.Although oncology is obviously a specialty field and functions well, it suffers from the problem of great overlap with many other specialists who can and do perform excellent tumor teaching, supervision, and treatment for their individual areas, such as gynecologists, surgeons, dermatologists, etc. I do not believe there is any evidence that a student in a standard course in medical school gets a "fragmented view of cancer" as stated in the article, or that the subject is not appropriately integrated and coordinated. It certainly is.This is a rather classical example of a well-meaning specialty trying to justify time in an already overcrowded curriculum for medical students. This